Manille is a French trick-taking
Trick-taking game
A trick-taking game is a card game or tile-based game in which play centers on a series of finite rounds or units of play, called tricks. The object of such games then may be closely tied to the number of tricks taken, as in plain-trick games such as Whist, Contract Bridge, Napoleon, Rowboat, and...

 card game
Card game
A card game is any game using playing cards as the primary device with which the game is played, be they traditional or game-specific. Countless card games exist, including families of related games...

 which uses a 32 card deck. It spread to the rest of France in the early 20th century, but was subsequently checked and reversed by the expansion of Belote
Belote is a 32-card trick-taking game played in France, and is currently one of the most popular card games in that country. It was invented around 1920, probably from Klaverjas, Klaverjassen, a game played since at least the 17th century in the Netherlands...

. It is still popular in Northern France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the western part of Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 and the south-west part of the country.

The game is played with a 32-card piquet deck. It is usually played by four players in two partnerships, but variants with just two players also exist.

Manille muette

Ranks and card-point values
Rank 10 A K Q J 9 8 7
Value 5 4 3 2 1

The 32 cards are distributed equally between the four players, starting with the player to the left of the dealer, moving clockwise. There are various ways to do this, often players receive two cards at a time rather than just one, until all players have eight cards each. The dealer now announce the trump suit. There are five possibilities as in bridge, clubs, diamonds, hearts spades and no-trump. No trump (known as en voiture in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

) also means that the points are doubled at the end of the deal. The dealer can also announce "opposite" (en face) and let his partner choose the trump suit. If the opposing team believes they can beat the chosen trump (get more than 30 points) then they can 'tap' the table to double the points at the end of the deal.

The play

The player to the left of the dealer can play any card of his choice, and the three players after him are obligated to follow suit if they can. If they can't, they can win the hand by playing a trump card or if they can't follow suit or trump, they must discard a card and obligatorily lose the hand. The player who wins the trick starts off the next trick, and so on, until all eight tricks have been completed. Note that the cards follow the normal order of hierarchy used in bridge, except that the 10 is the highest possible card - the order is 10, ace, king, queen, jack, 9, 8, 7. Players are not allowed to talk about their cards during the playing phase of the game.


Unlike Bridge, it's not the numbers of tricks taken that decides the score. The cards are all assigned a special value:
  • 10 (manille) - 5 points
  • Ace
    An ace is a playing card. In the standard French deck, an ace has a single suit symbol located in the middle of the card, sometimes large and decorated, especially in the case of the Ace of Spades...

     (manillon) - 4 points
  • King
    King (playing card)
    The king is a playing card with a picture of a king on it. The usual rank of a king is as if it were a 13; that is, above the queen. In some games, the king is the highest-ranked card; in others, the ace is higher...

     - 3 points
  • Queen
    Queen (playing card)
    The Queen is a playing card with a picture of a queen on it. The usual rank of a queen is as if it were 12 ....

     - 2 points
  • Jack
    Jack (playing card)
    A Jack, also Knave, is a playing card with a picture of a man on it. The usual rank of a jack, within its suit, is as if it were an 11 ....

    - 1 point
  • 9, 8 and 7 - 0 points.

At the end of the deal, the two pairs count up the value of their cards and declare them. The total value of the pack is 60 points ([5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1] x 4), so to get the opponents' score the players simply subtract their total from 60. If there have been any doubles or redoubled, these are applied after counting the total. Points are scored relative to 30 as this is half of 60. For example, a team that wins the deal 36 - 24 gets six points (36 - 30) and the opposition gets zero. If there has been a violation of the rules, for example one player trumping another player's trick when he could have followed suit, the other pair gets the maximum points for that deal (30 points).

The game typically ends in one of two ways
  • Players play until one pair has 101 points, the first to this total wins
  • Players play 50 deals and whichever pair has the most points wins.

Alternate Rules

  • In some regions it is possible to call out a 'Blind trump' which means that the dealer chooses a trump -usually no trump- before seeing his cards. The dealer gets to lead the first trick and points are automatically doubled at the end of the deal.
  • Some games allow 'double tapping' the table. If the opposing team 'tapped' the table and the trumping team believes the opposing team will not win the deal, they may 'double tap' the table, automatically quadrupling the points of the deal.

Manille parlée

A more popular variety allowing spoken communication between partners, as the name implies but what may be said is subject to stringent rules. The leader to a trick, before leading, may give his partner a single piece of information about his own hand, oor request information about his partner's, or may even (instead) invite his partner either to do the same or to give him some instruction as to the card or suit to be led. Such information may relate to the number of cards held of a specific suit or rank, or whether a particular card is held. Question and answer must be succinct, explicit, intelligible to the opponents, and not replaced or accompanied by any non-verbal conventions. Questions must be answered truthfully, and instructions followed if possible.

Auction Manille (1)

From three to seven may play, each for himself. Deal out all cards but two or four, depending on the number of players, which constitute the widow. Eldest has the privilege of becoming the declarer. If he declines, it passes to the right until somebody exercises it. The declarer's objective is to take at least 21 points in tricks and cards, or at least 15 if more than four are playing. Before play, the declarer may keep drawing cards from the widow until he is satisfied with his hand. Each drawn card must be followed by a discard, which may be the card just drawn, before the next is taken. When satisfied, declarer announces trump and eldest hand leads. The amount won by the declarer from each opponent if successful, or paid to each if not, varies with the number of cards exchanged.

Auction Manille (2)

Remove as many sevens as necessary to enable every player to receive the same number of cards. Each in turn, starting with Eldest, may pass or bid. A bid states the number of points the bidder undertakes to make in exchange for choosing trumps. Each bid must be higher than the last, and a player who has passed may not come in again. The highest bidder announces trump, or No Trumps, and Eldest leads to the first trick, unless the bid was to win every trick, in which case the declarer leads. The player scores the amount of his bid if successful, or loses it if not. The winner is the player with the highest score after any agreed number of deals, each having dealt the same number of times.

Auction Manille (3)

A number of cards is dealt to each player in a particular manner, and the rest are laid some face up and some face down on the table.
  • If three players are active in the game, nine cards are dealt in batches of 3 to each player and the remainder five are stacked, two face up and three down.
  • If four play, seven cards are dealt and the remainder 4 are laid down, being two face up and two down.
  • If five play, six cards are dealt and the remeinder two are laid down, being one face up and one down.
  • If six play, five cards are dealt and the remainder two cards are laid down, being one face up and one down.
  • If seven play, four cards are dealt and the remainder four are laid down, being two face up and two down.

The game is played as in the previous version previously, except that the highest bidder may exchange cards with the widow before naming trumps. In some circles, the score is doubled if the bidder undertakes to win every trick, or plays without exchanging. If both apply, the score is quadrupled.

Blind Manille

This variety requires people to hold their dealt cards backwards so other players can see all the cards but not the player himself. The chosen trump is based on the cards the dealer sees. Players play cards by pulling them randomly from their hand. Whoever threw the highest of the initial suit or trumps the highest, wins the trick.
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